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Turning Fuming To Grace

The Bell Ensemble plays during the 8:00 Service in the Auditorium.

Yesterday morning Pastor Ray had us look at the Christmas Story from Joseph’s perspective. Ray had us consider Joseph’s  consideration.   “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.” Matthew 1:20
Not wrong, but perhaps misleading, Ray pointed out. “These things” that Joseph considered included the fact that his fiancé is pregnant! The word “considered” can also mean “angry” or “very upset”…even “fuming over the matter.”   That sounds more like how we would expect someone to react.
And yet, instead of lashing out in anger, Joseph extended grace to Mary.   Ray pointed out this same trait in two parables that Jesus’ taught (Luke 14, Mark 12) and then asked “Did Jesus grow up with a living model for the two main characters of the parables? Was Jesus’ “stand-in” dad modeling grace in his response to Mary?
And in all of this, we see The Christmas Story. Rather than responding to our brokenness with anger, God extends His grace to us by sending His Son. As His followers, we are to model this same “justice” in our homes, communities, nation and world.
You can watch, read or listen to Ray’s message by going here: faithful-to-the-law-and-yet